Author Archives: scaf

New Writing Blog! (

Hey All!

Just wanted to let you know that I now have a writing blog!


Check it out!

(and follow me on Twitter: @MJ_Scafati)

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Posted in Housekeeping, Tales | Leave a comment

Frameworks to Analyze the Competitive Environment of Business Ventures


Various frameworks exist to analyze the competitive environment of business ventures or projects and are useful in assessing their stated objectives and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve those objectives.

  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitive force analysis
  • Resource-based view (RBV) analysis
  • STEEPLED macro-environmental factors analysis

These are important tools for assessing compatibility and attainability of the stated objective with the competitive reality. With the implementation of the right competitive strategies, a company can sustain its positive growth and high rates of return-- the two most important value drivers. A company can either position itself to deflect the effect of the competitive forces in the industry (defensive strategy)-- through investing in technology that will lower production costs or through increased advertising and creating a strong brand; or it will use its strengths to affect the competitive forces in the industry (offensive strategy).… Read the rest

Posted in Business | Leave a comment

David Shahan’s Barbecue Ribs

Use baby back ribs.  You'll need to peel the thin membrane completely off of one side.  Apply the dry rub and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 320 deg.  Then cook on the grill for about ten minutes a side but watch them carefully because on a hot fire they might char quickly.  Brush them with the wet BBQ sauce while on the grill.  That's it!!

Rob Evans' Dry rub:
1 tablespoons each of:
White sugar
Brown sugar
Chile powder
1/2 tablespoon cayenne
2 tablespoons paprika

Shahan family BBQ sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer all of this for 15-20 min… Read the rest

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Scaf’s Jambalaya (makes 8 quarts; cooking time: 6 hours)

Scaf’s Jambalaya

makes: 8 quarts; cooking time: 6 hours

This is an old Scaf recipe dating back to 1995, developed during the long hours studying for the CFA Exam in my first apartment after college, in Brookline Village. Looking at it today (2012), I would not make it this way in the new age of organic produce and Whole Foods Markets. I'll give a shot at a healthier overhaul in the next coming months.



1 lb cooked chicken (chopped bite size)

Alt: One package Perdue Roasters Original

1 ½ lb cooked kielbasa (chopped bite size)
Preferred: Hillshire Farm Turkey Kielbasa (pre-cooked)
¼-½  lb cooked jumbo shrimp (chopped bite size)

Alt: Frozen Jumbo Tail-less

6 strips cooked bacon chopped bite size

Alt: pre-cooked microwave bacon



3 cups white rice (not instant)

Alt: 2 cups rice, one box New Orleans or Zatarains Jambalaya mix


Sauces/ Liquids

3 cups water
¼ cup hot sauce (Goya orLouisiana)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Grey Poupon Mustard
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup favorite Barbeque sauce
2 tbs olive oil
4 full bodied beers (two for cook!, 2 for Jambalaya!)
1 half stick butter
1 jar salsa (chunky, medium or mild)
1 tomato (sliced in 1/8th)
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives (Green too?)



Jambalaya spice (2 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp sage, 1 tsp basil-- not necessary if using rice mix)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground celery seed
1 tbs garlic powder
2 tbs garlic salt
1 tsp chile pepper powder (Alt: heavy sprinkle)
1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbs cayenne pepper (Alt: very heavy sprinkle)
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs cajun seasoning
2 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs brown sugar


Cooking Directions

00:00 Add spices, water and sauces to large pot, stir.  Cover and heat on low-medium-low setting.… Read the rest

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Flash Fiction: (Un)Lucky

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature of extreme brevity; a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.

Below is my first work of Flash Fiction called "(Un)Lucky."  A woman named Caroline who considers herself unlucky goes for a walk through a eucalyptus grove with a Starbucks coffee and finds... happiness.

 *          *          *          *          *


Word count: 1,062

Caroline considered herself unlucky. Elevator doors closed as she approached. Traffic lights blinked yellow to red, Even her cell service was random at best. Friends did not please leave a message at the tone; they relied on 1 Missed Calls to inform. It didn’t.


Statisticians would claim that the probability of stellar dust surviving Earth’s atmosphere and landing within Caroline’s Starbucks venti coffee cup during a rare sunny afternoon walk under her favorite menthol-scented grove of eucalyptus trees was too remote to bother calculating.… Read the rest

Posted in Tales | 2 Comments


Added a "Verse" page dedicated to my writing (Scaf's Verse-- see what I did there?). Check it out!… Read the rest

Posted in Housekeeping | Leave a comment

We have a Shipping Address!!! (Hint: It is a Palindrome!)

We have a heavy, secure wrought iron gate across our street entrance on Scott Street.  Very safe.

Due the the genius of the architect of the remodel of our new place, however, the unit's mailboxes are behind that gate!  Apparently the mailman just has to feed mail through the tiny openings in the gate, since he can't access our box.

That won't do.  That won't do at all.

So, we have a box at the UPS store on Chestnut Street-- and its address is one you cannot forget.

2269 Chestnut Street, #622
San Francisco, CA 94123

How is it that you cannot forget it, you ask?  We picked a palindrome box!  2269 622.  Easy-peasy!

Even if you forget, just google the UPS Store on Chestnut Street, and when you see their address, you know that our box number is a palindrome derived from it.… Read the rest

Posted in SanFran | 1 Comment

Progress Report, July 16th

It's been 3 busy months since my first update, Progress Report, April 16th and 4 months since A Novel Change in the Scafverse.

A lot of big changes have happened in those months: Crystal is Silicon Valley’s Newest Venture Capitalist! and We Found a Place to Live in San Francisco!.

I finally put together a spreadsheet to keep track of my self-study course (what I'm reading and what still needs to be read):  my self-study course for the Novel is an astounding 6,120 pages.  Studies and stats suggest that a good reading pace for this type of technical material is 6 minutes per page for comprehension.  Wow!  My reading course is 612 hours long.  To put that in perspective, an Ivy League semester long course-load is expected to be 50 hours a week for 16 weeks, or 800 hours.… Read the rest

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We Found a Place to Live in San Francisco! (UPDATED)

We'll be moving to the Marina District of San Francisco in early August!






Having seen over 30 places on walkthoughs, and another 40 more on walk-by's, we found a residence that should work for us:  Walking distance to the Presidio, to the restaurant/ shopping districts of Chestnut Street, Union Street and Fillmore Street, and to the Bay and the Marina Green; two bedrooms, two bath, open living area and modern appliances; roofdeck with grill; and a parking spot!
Come visit us where Scott and Bay Streets meet!



Craigslist Listing:

"Newly remodeled two bedroom two bath upper unit in two unit building, with a small bay view.  New kitchen, and bathrooms, hardwood floors. W/D, fridge, stove, D/W, balcony.
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Posted in Milestones, SanFran | 1 Comment

Of Note: Crystal is Silicon Valley’s Newest Venture Capitalist!

Crystal Joins Mithril Capital Management

Mithril Capital Management is a private venture investment firm focused on growth equity opportunities across the technology sector. Mithril's investment committee is chaired by co-founder and investor, Peter Thiel, the entrepreneur and philanthropist. Mithril's team is led by co-founder and long-time Thiel colleague Ajay Royan. The firm prioritizes long-term relationships with companies holding the greatest potential over those with odds for a quick exit. This design offers portfolio companies a sustained investment partner across their growth life cycle.


Mithril Capital Management Info:
Click here for Mithril In The News

Mithril Capital Management's Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Jun 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Peter Thiel today announced that Mithril Capital Management (Mithril), a new global tech venture firm based in San Francisco, will begin seeking bold technology entrepreneurs and sponsor the growth of their businesses.… Read the rest

Posted in Milestones, SanFran | 1 Comment